The Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (the Matenadaran
If you are in Yerevan, you have a chance to discover one of the oldest cities in the world. It is full of amazing places, but if you want something unique, don’t miss your opportunity to enjoy one of the richest manuscripts and books depositories in the world called Matenadaran. The word itself means “holder of manuscripts,” or “manuscript collector”.
The Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (the Matenadaran), built in 1957, was designed by Mark Grigoryan. A flight of steps leads up to a statue of MesropMashtots, with the letters of the Armenian alphabet been carved into the wall behind. Before the entrance to the museum stand sculptures of six ancient Armenian philosophers, scientists and men of the arts.
The Matenadaran has consolidated about 23,000 manuscripts, including almost all areas of ancient and medieval Armenian cultural and sciences - history, geography, grammar, philosophy, law, medicine, mathematics, cosmology, chronology, divination literature, translated and national literature, miniature painting, music and theater. The oldest manuscript is the “VehamorAvetaran” which was kept from the 8th century. Here you will see the biggest Armenian book “MshoCharyntir” (weights 28 kg) and the smallest book (190g).
The Matenadaran also holds manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, Greek, Ethiopian, Syrian, Latin, Tamil, and other languages. Many originals, lost in their mother languages and known only by their Armenian translations, have been saved from loss by medieval translations.
The Armenian manuscripts are rich with beautiful and colorful miniatures; the colors are bright as if they were done lately. The miniature artist used an only natural color, that’s why the manuscripts remained fresh. For instance, they got red color from small red insect (VordanKarmir).
Welcome to discover this incredibly rare and exclusive treasure of Armenia Matenadaran. Our packages are available for you.